HEREFORD is home to many popular independent tea rooms and cafes, among them Rocket Kitchen in Church Street, one of the entries in the Best Cafe or Tearoom in the inaugural Hereford Times Food and Drink Awards.

Rocket is a small, independent business that runs on the passion and hard work of its proud owners, Ben and Sally Holden, and its loyal staff. Over the years, people have come to the café as customers and left as friends. With a strong green ethos, Rocket focuses on providing delicious, wholesome food and drink utilising the best of local produce. They try their hardest to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible, from providing compostable takeaway cups and wooden cutlery to powering the café on green energy from Ecotricity. "It is important to us that Rocket makes a positive stamp on Hereford in every possible way," they say.

"Community spirit is at the heart of everything we do. We are proud of the partnership we formed with Hereford Homeless Support this year, offering food and drinks to the most vulnerable members of our community."

Rocket owner Ben spoke to BBC Hereford and Worcester about the plight facing Hereford's homeless during this year's long, freezing winter, to raise awareness and encourage the local community to get involved - that one video alone had almost 50,000 views!

"Our wonderful customers have showed such generosity supporting our suspended meals and coffee scheme that is has continued to run and shows no signs of stopping. Creating a safe space where someone can come and get warmth, nourishment and a friendly chat has been invaluable for so many.

"We focus on creating delicious food from the best produce, and to us that means using suppliers as local as possible. Our tea is supplied by Trumpers Tea, a small, family-run company based in Hereford who pride themselves on an ethical supply chain from bush to cup. Similarly, our hand-crafted coffee comes from Method Roastery - ethically sourced and hand roasted in small batches in Herefordshire. The organic sourdough bread we use for our breakfasts is baked fresh by Peter Cooks Bread in Bishops Frome and our free-range eggs come from Country Flavours of Preston -on-Wye. We stock Rowlestone ice creams, freshly made on the farm at Rowlestone Court; We also use Bartonsham Farm dairy. We try to source our fruit and vegetable as locally as possible and use several small, independent suppliers.

"We are famous for our hand-crafted, hand-stretched sourdough pizzas and wraps, freshly made to order. We hand-make our dough from scratch every day just before the start of lunch service. Our menu offers suggestions, rather than set options, and many of our customers love having the freedom to create their own pizza or wrap with their favourite toppings and filling. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to any dietary requirement, and make sure no one goes hungry after a meal at Rocket! Our cake selection always offers a selection of tasty gluten-free, sugar-free and/or vegan treats so no one has to miss out on coffee and cake! We also bake a selection of gluten free quiches every day and our soup option is always vegan."

WITH these awards we are asking each producer/business to nominate themselves. We have extended the deadline to October 10 and the criteria has been amended slightly in some categories so take another look if you haven't entered yet.

We are particularly looking for more entrants from butchers, farm shops, brewers, dairy producers and food and drink retailers.

To nominate yourself you need to go to the dedicated section of our website:

There you will find a form for each category and five or six questions.

An awards ceremony will take place in November.